Background: Sleep disturbance is a prevalent and clinically significant feature of bipolar disorder. However, there are aspects of sleep and bipolar disorder that have been minimally characterized. This study aims to fill several gaps in the literature by examining the prevalence, coexistence, and persistence of sleep disturbance retrospectively across a five-year period in bipolar disorder.
Methods: Fifty-one people with bipolar disorder I and comorbid insomnia who were currently inter-episode completed the NIMH Retrospective Life-Charting Methodology (the life chart). The life chart was used to document the prevalence, coexistence, and persistence of insomnia, hypersomnia, delayed sleep phase, reduced sleep need, and irregular sleep patterns across the course of five years.